Thu, 08 Jun 2023

by Oliver Trust

BERLIN, March 26 (Xinhua) -- The way back to happiness might come near a bumpy road for the German national team after its poor performance at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

While coach Hansi Flick is trying to re-launch the struggling side, a ray of hope is emerging with the return of an effective poacher such as Niclas Fullkrug.

The 30-year-old scored his fifth goal in the German shirt in a 2-0 victory over Peru, and is enjoying the tactical changes such as a two-striker system that Flick implemented to support the Bremen forward.

"It makes things easier and is increasing our efficiency," Fullkrug told Xinhua in an interview.

The late bloomer is optimistic to continue his upswing in the German national team after he praised the support he is receiving from his coach and teammates.

"I am undoubtedly benefitting from an increase of activity in the box as it helps us to gain stability," the forward said.

The victory against the South American side in the first encounter after the World Cup is a first step to focus on the future, including Euro 2024 which Germany will host, the attacker said.

Fullkrug demanded more tactical variability for the German team, and called it one of the main issues over the upcoming 18 months until the Euro's kick-off.

While Peru seemed far from an unsolvable challenge, Germany is facing top side Belgium next Tuesday.

The German spearhead called it vital to slowly get on a higher level for his team by crossing swords with more powerful teams.

Despite the testing of a wide range of debutants, Flick praised the game of Fullkrug and Leipzig forward Timo Werner.

"Both feel comfortable not having to act alone upfront. Two strikers in the box are inevitably triggering more action and as a fact we had more players in the box over the 90 minutes," the former Bayern coach said.

Fullkrug spoke about the additional support of Chelsea striker Kai Havertz, who delivered the assists to his two goals.

Fullkrug is enjoying the guidance of "someone around me and us. It makes you act differently and feel more secure aside from getting more opportunities to score."

From his perspective, two strikers and Havertz are turning the German team into a more unpredictable opponent.

The Bremen striker said he is optimistic the team is going to deliver a satisfying Euro 2024 and compete for the title as a serious competitor.

"It's on us to get our fans at our side by delivering a good tournament performance," he said, adding it's time to forget about the disappointing 2022 FIFA World Cup and calling the Peru game a successful re-start.

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